The Stolen Hours by Allen Eskens

Lila Nash is on the verge of landing her dream job—working as a prosecutor under the Hennepin County Attorney—and has settled into a happy life with her boyfriend, Joe Talbert. But when a woman is pulled from the Mississippi River, barely alive, things in the office take a personal turn.

The police believe the woman’s assailant is local photographer Gavin Spenser, but the case quickly flounders as the evidence wears thin. It seems Gavin saw this investigation coming—and no one can imagine how carefully he has prepared.

The more determined Lila is to put Gavin behind bars, the more elusive justice becomes. Battling a vindictive new boss and haunted by the ghosts of her own unspeakable attack, which she’s kept a dark secret for eight long years, Lila knows the clock is ticking down. In a race against an evil mastermind, it will take everything Lila’s got to outsmart a killer—and to escape the dark hold of her own past.

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08RYR96YH
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Mulholland Books (September 7, 2021)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ September 7, 2021
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1652 KB
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 321 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 0316703494

About the Author

Allen Eskens grew up in the wooded hills of Missouri and, after high school, migrated north to pursue his education. He acquired a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Minnesota, and a Juris Doctorate from Hamline University School of Law. He honed his creative writing skills in the M.F.A. program at Minnesota State University and took classes at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.

My Review

Allen Eskens never disappoints me when I pick up a new book of his. The Stolen Hours is no different. One always wonders if it’s possible for each book to carry on the legacy of his past work but he seems to have no problem thrilling us with another mystery.

Lila Nash is a familiar character from his past works. Eskens does an excellent job of tying in the past and connecting the dots to this thriller, carrying on the story and giving us more insight to Lila’s life. For me one of the perks of his writing is the way the characters are developed, which puts them into a readers heart, making us love or hate, depending on the dynamics of the personalities as their lives play out the plot.

This is another can’t-put-it-down by one of my favorite authors.

The book is available as an e-read, print and audiobook.

Find Allen At:

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The Lines We Cross by R. L. McCalla

The Lines We Cross by R. L. McCalla

If DNA is the blueprint of life, what happens when we change the instructions?
When deputy Sam Thurston responds to a report of a dead body on the side of the road, he’s completely unprepared for what he’ll find: a pregnant woman, womb cut open, baby missing. So soon after his own wife’s miscarriage, Sam is drawn in to the case. In his search to find both the baby and the young woman’s killer, Sam uncovers a hidden world of rogue scientists, genetic editing, and pregnant college students.
Meanwhile, Ava Newman learns she’s pregnant, accepts a scholarship to a school founded by a biotech billionaire, and unknowingly moves into the room previously occupied by the roadside victim. There, Ava discovers secrets about life and death and her own DNA.
In order for Ava and Sam to uncover what really happened, they must confront their fears, their families, and secrets someone is willing to kill for. Lives are not the only thing at stake. They’re fighting to determine what it means to be human.

MY REVIEW

The Lines We Cross is in my top twenty if not top ten books of the year. I loved this book.

I’m familiar with this author and read many of her previous works with Harlequin so The Lines We Cross was a surprise to me. It challenged everything I though I believed about DNA, science, gene editing and life. I came away from this mystery changing my mind about various scientific studies, and it left me with certain what-if’s.

I could not put this mystery down. When does science go too far? What are the repercussions on those left behind or those coming after us in the future? And then…what part does faith play in this? Can science and faith come together? Or is faith a separate entity? Who are we as people and what dictates the choices we make? Do we throw aside faith when questioning how far is too far if the end justifies the means and it makes a difference in our health and safety? I thought I was pat in my answers to those questions until I read this book and  made me look at why I believed what I believed.

And yes, this is a mystery, and it is fiction and it is a page turner. Find out for yourself. So far, my best book of this year.

About the Author

Rachelle McCalla plays with words like some kids play with fire. When she’s not writing, she can be found digging deep research holes, setting up ideas like lightning rods to catch the next big bolt to shoot from the sky. Please use caution when picking up her books, as some may emit dangerous sparks.

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Summer Club by Katherine Dean Mazerov

Murder meets the absurd in the sizzling thriller Summer Club, a new novel by award-winning journalist Katherine Dean Mazerov.

Normally, politics and parent drama, drunken soirees and sex-capades reign at Lydia Phillips’s swim and tennis club. Now, a strange car following the club manager, a break-in at Lydia’s home, and a shocking discovery on the club grounds have this stay-at-home mom dusting off her newspaper-reporting skills to unravel the mystery.

Then, a body surfaces in the river, and Lydia’s life gets a whole lot more complicated—and dangerous.

In one moment, readers of Summer Club will be laughing at the colorful characters’ outrageous antics. The next moment, they will be riveted as the story reveals a troubling, complex scheme involving fraud and murder.

Perfect for parents balancing career and family, Summer Club casts a beam of dark humor across the hidden reality that makes “domestic” life—raising children and volunteering for community and school groups—sometimes more harrowing than the most cutthroat of corporate jobs.

My Review

It’s not easy being a full-time volunteer, especially after one has had a successful career as a reporter and city editor. Lydia Phillips, questions her choice of becoming the Meadow Glen Board President as the intricacies of the job put her smack dab in the middle of shady happenings and a murder.

Summer Club was an easy read. It kept my interest, although I would have liked to see the murder earlier in the book as I kept waiting for it. The characters were solid and so was the setting. The author’s descriptions give the reader a good visual of what’s happening.

The name drew me in, and the idea of a lazy summer club. Basking in the sun, barbeques with friends and all things we associate with a relaxing good time. I had a relaxing good time reading Summer Club, and it had just enough mischief to keep me satisfied.

Meet the Author

Katherine Dean Mazerov

Career journalist KATHERINE DEAN (Katie) MAZEROV understands the power of stories that resonate with people, touch their lives. In her debut novel, Summer Club, she explores the complexities of life and foibles of human nature that emerge at rundown swim and tennis club rife with hilarious dysfunction and parent drama–and where a journalist-turned-stay-at-home-mom stumbles onto a dark fraud scheme. The award-winning newspaper reporter and editor has been a magazine writer, worked in corporate communications for a Fortune 500 company and written extensively on trends, market outlook and emerging technologies for the global energy industry. As an editor at The Denver Post, Katie was a member of the team that won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting. Like the protagonist in her book, she has experienced the challenges of balancing career and family. After putting her own career on hold to stay home, she did her fair share of volunteering—from the classroom to her own neighborhood swim and tennis club—which, she learned, can sometimes be more competitive and ruthless than even the most stressful work environment. Decades after launching her career path on the college newspaper, she remains passionate about writing, expanding her horizons along the way as a wife, mom, tennis player, skier, cyclist and world traveler. She can’t imagine a world without dogs. She lives in Greenwood Village, Colorado.

https://www.katherinedeanmazerov.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55461818-summer-club

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Legacy by Nora roberts

Legacy

The #1 New York Times bestselling author presents a new novel of a mother and a daughter, of ambition and romance, and of a traumatic past reawakened by a terrifying threat…

Adrian Rizzo was seven when she met her father for the first time. That was the day he nearly killed her—before her mother, Lina, stepped in.

Soon after, Adrian was dropped off at her grandparents’ house in Maryland, where she spent a long summer drinking lemonade, playing with dogs, making a new best friend—and developing the stirrings of a crush on her friend’s ten-year-old brother. Lina, meanwhile, traveled the country promoting her fitness brand and turning it into a billion-dollar business. There was no point in dwelling on the past.

A decade later, Adrian has created her own line of yoga and workout videos, following in Lina’s footsteps but intent on maintaining creative control. And she’s just as cool-headed and ambitious as her mother. They aren’t close, but they’re cordial—as long as neither crosses the other.

But while Lina dismisses the death threats that Adrian starts getting as a routine part of her daughter’s growing celebrity, Adrian can’t help but find the vicious rhymes unsettling. Year after year, they keep arriving—the postmarks changing, but the menacing tone the same. They continue after she returns to Maryland and becomes reacquainted with Raylan, her childhood crush, all grown up and as gorgeously green-eyed as ever. Sometimes it even seems like the terrifying messages are indeed routine, like nothing will come of them. Until the murders start, and the escalation begins…

My Review

Family dynamics are never easy, and Nora Roberts portrays this perfectly in Legacy. It’s a question we all ask ourselves at one time or another. Do we become our parents because of what is modeled to us or are the traits that shape our character ones we can’t escape because they’re in our genes?

A traumatic incident with her father when Adrian Rizzo was a child set the pace for her life. When she decides to take a different path after the death of her Grandmother, Adrian finds herself a new meaning of family in the community of Traveler’s Creek. Living with her Grandfather, having friends near, she finds life would be perfect except for the poems and the letters anonymously sent to her, reminding her she has a stalker.

Nora Roberts does not disappoint her readers in Legacy. It’s a well-written mystery that will tug at your heart and leave you reading deep into the night or all day long. Though the mystery is compelling I found the family and friends component, along with some romance, is what drew me in. Family changes, people evolve, and the key is forgiveness. The message is clear in the dynamics of this book. It has my recommendation. I gave it five stars.

Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 200 novels, including Shelter in Place, Year One, Come Sundown, and many more. She is also the author of the bestselling In Death series written under the pen name J.D. Robb. There are more than five hundred million copies of her books in print.

Nora Roberts Website

Infinite by Brian Freeman

One rainy night, the unthinkable happens: Dylan Moran’s car plunges off the road into a raging river, his beautiful wife drowning as he struggles to shore.

In the aftermath, through his grief, Dylan experiences sudden, strange visions: wherever he goes, he’s haunted by glimpses of himself. Dylan initially chalks it up to trauma, but that changes when he runs into a psychiatrist who claims he’s her patient. She says he has been undergoing a unique hypnotherapy treatment built on the idea that with every choice, he creates an infinite number of parallel universes.

Now those parallel universes are unlocked—and Dylan’s doppelgänger has staked a claim to his world. Can Dylan use these alternate realities to get a second chance at the life that was stolen from him? Or will he lose himself…to himself?

My Review

Infinite by Brian Freeman

The first question I would ask Author Brian Freeman if I interviewed him in person is: “Can I crawl into your mind while you’re writing?” I have a feeling it would be an interesting place to reside as his words appear on the computer screen.

Infinite is twisted, and curvy and outright surprising. I held my breath in anxiety during many of the chapters. I wasn’t sure why, but that’s the way I was affected when reading, and for me that’s a good sign that I’m hooked. An unusual story of a man wrapped in himself. Was it real? Was it fantasy? I couldn’t put the book down until I found out.

It’s no secret Brian Freeman is now on my list of favorite authors. I am crushing on his writing. Like Forest Gump states, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna git.” I feel that way every time I read a Brian Freeman book. Brian Freeman’s books are like a box of chocolate, you never know what you’re gonna git.” I guarantee one thing, you will never be disappointed when reading one of his works. Infinite may just move to the top of your list of favorites in the world of Brian Freeman.

About Brian Freeman Brian Freeman is a New York Times and Amazon Charts bestselling author of psychological thrillers, including the Jonathan Stride and Frost Easton series. His books have been sold in 46 countries and 22 languages. He is widely acclaimed for his “you are there” settings and his complex, engaging characters and twist-filled plots. Brian was also selected as the official author to continue Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne series, and his novel THE BOURNE EVOLUTION was named by Kirkus as one of the best mysteries and thrillers of 2020.

Brian’s stand-alone thriller SPILLED BLOOD won the award for Best Hardcover Novel in the annual Thriller Awards given out by the International Thriller Writers organization, and his fifth novel THE BURYING PLACE was a finalist for the same award. His novel THE DEEP, DEEP SNOW was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original in 2021.

His debut thriller, IMMORAL, won the Macavity Award for Best First Novel and was a finalist for the Edgar, Dagger, Anthony, and Barry Awards. IMMORAL was named an International Book of the Month, a distinction shared with authors such as Harlan Coben and Lisa Unger.

All of Brian’s books are also available in audiobook editions. His novels THE BONE HOUSE and SEASON OF FEAR were both finalists for Best Audiobook of the Year in Thriller/Suspense.

Find Brian at bfreemanbooks.com

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Meet Author Abby Collette

Abby Collette is one of the pen names for Author Abby Vandiver. I recently had the privilege of interviewing Abby on my YouTube channel, The Pink Percolator. I hope you take the time to meet Abby too.

A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette

  • First In Series. An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery
  • Publisher : Berkley (May 12, 2020)
  • Publication date : May 12, 2020
  • Print length : 383 pages

Recent MBA grad Bronwyn Crewse has just taken over her family’s ice cream shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and she’s going back to basics. Win is renovating Crewse Creamery to restore its former glory, and filling the menu with delicious, homemade ice cream flavors—many from her grandmother’s original recipes. But unexpected construction delays mean she misses the summer season, and the shop has a literal cold opening: the day she opens her doors an early first snow descends on the village and keeps the customers away.

To make matters worse, that evening, Win finds a body in the snow, and it turns out the dead man was a grifter with an old feud with the Crewse family. Soon, Win’s father is implicated in his death. It’s not easy to juggle a new-to-her business while solving a crime, but Win is determined to do it. With the help of her quirky best friends and her tight-knit family, she’ll catch the ice cold killer before she has a meltdown…

My Review

A Deadly Inside Scoop

Within the first few chapters of this book, I craved ice cream, not just any ice cream but ice cream from Crewse Creamery in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Popcorn Ice Cream, Cherry Amaretto Chocolate Chunk, and ice cream made from snow made my lips tingle with anticipation. Bronwyn Crewse was home and bringing her family’s ice cream shop back to life

Author Abby Vandiver writes under the pen name Abby Collette for her Ice Cream Parlor Mysteries. This was the first in this series that I’ve read but knowing her talent from her previous works, I had no doubt this one would hold my attention and bring me a few hours of reading pleasure. I was right.

Immediately we are drawn into the murder with a wide variety of suspects, some in Bronwyn’s own family, and since she was the unfortunate person to find the body, they include her in the group of suspects. Her family comprises unique personalities that enhance the mystery, along with quirky friends who add moments of fun.

One trait of this mystery I liked was the closeness of family. They still have dinners together. There is something about a family dinner that brings us close and bonds family members, but in this book, it also bonds us to the family.

This is an excellent read by a talented author. I highly recommend it. And if you’re like me, craving ice cream after reading this book, Grandma Kay’s Snow Ice Cream recipe in the back of the book might be one you want to try along with the others. Happy reading.

About The Author

WALL STREET JOURNAL, USA TODAY, and internationally best selling author, Abby L. Vandiver, also writing as Abby Collette, has always enjoyed writing, combining that with her gift for telling stories and love of mystery, she became an author.

Abby’s an hybrid author. Her debut novel, In the Beginning and its sequels, Irrefutable Proof and Incarnate are fact mixed with fiction, mystery/sci-fi novels not written as action packed or fast paced, but as “what-if” alternative history stories. After those books were published, Abby switched to writing cozy mysteries. Finding much success, she has three series so far, Logan Dickerson Cozy Mystery, Normal Junction Cozy Mystery and Tiny House Mysteries, all self-published. In 2017, she contracted with Henery Press for a 3-book deal to pen the series Romaine Wilder Mysteries. Her new #ownvoice cozy mystery series, An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery by Berkley Penguin will debut in May 2020. The first book in the series is A Deadly Inside Scoop. Abby is represented by Rachel M. Brooks at Bookends Literary Agency.

Although she writes mostly mystery, Abby has co-written a historical/women’s fiction novel with author and friend, Kathryn Dionne under the pen name Kathryn Longino, and a Kindle World, historical/sci-fi fiction book, Countdown to Atlantis. That book was inspired by the A.G. Riddle’s book, The Atlantis Gene.

Abby, a former lawyer and college professor, has a bachelor’s degree in Economics, a master’s in Public Administration, and a Juris Doctor. A lifetime resident of Cleveland, Ohio, Abby spends all of her time writing and enjoying her wonderful grandchildren.

Abby’s got many more books to come, so stay tuned!

Visit her: www.abbyvandiver.com
Email her: abbylvandiver@aol.com
Follow her: @AbbyVandiver
Keep up with new releases: www.bookbub.com/authors/abby-l-vandiver